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Headless Secondary Monitor in XP


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#1
ntshclr

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Hi, I'm trying to access my home computer remotely using RealVNC. The home computer normally has two Dell 24" monitors hoked up to it, but I have those with me somewhere else. When I remotely log on to my home computer, I'm able to use the full 1920x1200 resolution of one monitor. The problem is that Windows will not allow me to extend my desktop to my secondary monitor because it is not plugged it. I'm trying to find a way to trick Windows into thinking that both monitors are there so that I can have full access to the dual monitor display over VNC. Is this possible? Thanks.
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#2
dsenette

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to my knowledge you can't actually use dual monitors via VNC....you would be able to use dual monitors on the local machine....but you've only got one VNC window open...so on the local machine that has the two monitors hooked up...it's only seeing one aplication so having the dual monitors wouldn't help...if any of that makes sense
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#3
Vaillant

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Actually, dsenette, VNC, RemotelyAnywhere and most other reputable remote desktop apps Do support dualmonitor now.

VNC will simply act as if its one huge desktop, so you have to madly scroll from one end to the other.
RemotelyAnywhere sees it as 2 independent monitors, at will, (you can swap between the both), or make it act as if its a big one, just like VNC.

As for the actual issue at hand, maybe someone else has a tip for it.

Good luck!
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#4
dsenette

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did not know that vaillant....i'll have to research that...
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#5
dsenette

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ah...ok..i got the issue backwards...you'd still have to have two monitors hooked up to the host PC at the remote location for it to work
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#6
Our House

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Hi Guys,

I have been working with the OP on this issue. It's a tough one!

RealVNC is connecting just fine, but will not display anything larger than 1920x1200. We've tried scaling to 3840x1200 on the VNC viewer, and all that does is stretch the current one-monitor resolution. OP has her two 24" monitors here, so she has a local resolution of 3840x1200. Windows display properties settings won't allow us to extend the server's desktop onto a 2nd monitor without any monitors plugged into it. After hitting "apply", the settings take for about 2 seconds, but then revert back to a greyed out 2nd monitor.

Windows Remote Desktop has a setting that will do what we're looking for. It will set your host's resolution to match your local resolution. I believe that particular function is called "server side scaling." The problem with Windows Remote Desktop is that it either moves at a crawl or freezes up when dealing with any applications that are even slightly CPU intensive. RealVNC is able to handle them perfectly. We've tried adjusting color and quality settings to see if the speed difference between WRD and VNC was related to that, and it wasn't. WRD is definitely too slow to handle the applications we're running.

So basically, in order to get remote access to the point where it's bearable, our choices are:

1) "Trick" Windows into thinking there are two monitors connected to the host PC.

2) Find a way to get RealVNC to display full screen at the local machine's total resolution.

3) Accelerate the Windows Remote Desktop speed to match VNC's speed.

4) Try to locate a plugin that will allow VNC to use server side scaling like WRD does.

5) Find another remote access program - with server side scaling - that is greater than or equal to RealVNC in terms of security, accessibility, functionality, and speed.

Either of those 5 choices will solve the problem. We've been on this issue for a long time now, and any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks,
OH
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#7
Vaillant

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if paying for the app isnt a problem (and I assume it isnt scince you mention Security of VNC, meaning its has to be the enterprise version) then I highly recommend RemotelyAnywhere.

It does everything I ever need it to.
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#8
bobmad

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If I read this correctly you still need 2 monitors plugged in at the one location and do not have them. A KVM switch (Keyboard Video and Mouse) may be a solution there. A decent one (not very expensive) will simulate a Video (monitor) signal while the monitor is servicing a different computer. In this case you could hook 2 of the video lines to the same computer and it will believe it has 2 monitors.

If I read this incorrectly and that part of the issue has been solved, sorry.
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#9
Vaillant

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could work.
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#10
Our House

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Well, we just encountered a really big problem trying to remotely (via RealVNC) install the trial version of RemotelyAnywhere on the host PC. ZoneAlarm firewall was asking for permission for RA to access the net and over the RealVNC connection, ZoneAlarm is unclickable.

We shut off ZoneAlarm to complete the RA installation (I know, dumb idea on my part :/ ), and *poof* no more remote connection. We're locked out of VNC and locked out of Windows Remote Desktop! Sigh.

The IP address of the host PC is still able to be ping'd, but I don't know what else to do. The remote host is 400 miles away from here.

Help!?

Edited by Our House, 09 May 2007 - 01:34 PM.

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#11
Vaillant

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got a telnet server running on the machine?

might be able to save the day through there
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#12
dsenette

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ah the joys of remote computing.....anyone available at "home base" to do some work?
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#13
Our House

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got a telnet server running on the machine?

I don't think so. Is there any way to find out?
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#14
Vaillant

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open a command prompt window, and type in

telnet <YOUR MACHINE'S IP ADDRESS HERE>


if it works, it'll ask you for a logon name-password.

if it isnt on, the connection will be refused.
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#15
Our House

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"Could not open connection on port 23"

...or something along those lines.

What's weird is how shutting ZoneAlarm off would lock us out. I know a firewall that's running can block ports and programs, but a firewall that's not running?
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